Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Sunday, February 25, 2007
William Carey, the Father of Modern Day World Missions also pastored in Olney before sailing for India to open up that dark land to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Here's a quote from John Newton that encouraged me. I pray that it will do the same for you, dear friends:
"If the Lord be with us, we have no cause of fear. His eye is upon us, His arm over us, His ear open to our prayer—His grace sufficient, His promises unchangeable."
—Attributed to John Newton (1725-1807)
Saturday, February 24, 2007
Her work entitled Thy Way Is Perfect caught my attention. The accompanying scripture passages is
2 Samuel 22:31.
Long is the way and very steep the slope;
Strengthen me once again, O God of Hope.
Far, very far, the summit doth appear;
But Thou art near, my God, but Thou art near.
And Thou wilt give me with my daily food,
Powers of endurance, courage, fortitude.
Thy way is perfect, only let that way
Be clear before my feet from day to day.
Thou art my Portion, saith my soul to Thee,
Oh, what a Portion is my God to me!
Friday, February 23, 2007
The following devotional on David Jeremiah's Turning Point site was worth sharing:
"He who did not spare his own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" - Romans 8:32
Recommended Reading - Genesis 4:1-14
"Perhaps you have been an answer to prayer in someone’s life without even planning to. You drive down a street and encounter a friend whose car has broken down by the side of the road. Or you feel led to send a special financial gift to a missionary friend only to hear later that it paid for an emergency medical bill. It only takes a couple of those events to make you realize how active God is behind the scenes in meeting peoples’ needs.
Every child of God lives with the assurance that He who met our greatest need through the gift of Christ will also surely meet every subsequent need we have. In no one’s life is God’s constancy in meeting needs more apparent than in Joseph’s. For instance, Joseph needed to get out of prison. When Pharaoh needed someone to interpret his dreams, the only person on earth who knew Joseph could interpret dreams told Pharaoh about him. So Pharaoh ordered Joseph released—and he never returned. Joseph trusted God, waited patiently, and then watched as God miraculously met his need.
Imitate Joseph, for he had the order right: trust God, wait patiently, and watch expectantly. And don’t forget to give God time."
"Hurry is the death of prayer." - Samuel Chadwick
Monday, February 19, 2007
Sunday, February 18, 2007
In the Book of the Revelation, the message to the seven churches is the same, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear!" Ben Patterson in "Deepening Your Conversation With God", illustrates how we tend to hear what we are attuned to:
Two men were pushing their way through the crowds in New York City's Times Square. They had to shout to each other to be heard above the din. One man was a native of New York, the other was a Native American from Oklahoma. The Native American stopped suddenly and said to his friend, "Listen! Can you hear the cricket?"
His friend thought it was a joke. "Are you kidding?" he laughed. "How could anyone hear a cricket in this bedlam? You just think you heard it." "No, I'm not kidding," he said. "Come over here." He walked over to a planter that was holding a large shrub and pointed at the dead leaves in the bottom. To his amazement, the New Yorker saw a cricket."You must have extraordinary ears," the New Yorker exclaimed. "No better than yours," said the Native American. "It all depends on what you're listening for. Watch this."
He reached into his pocket and pulled out a handful of nickels, dimes, and quarters. Then he dropped them on the sidewalk. People from as far as two blocks away stopped and turned to see where that sound had come from. "See what I mean?" he said. "It all depends on what you're listening for."
What are you attuned to? A desire for things of the world, will always cause you to turn your head at the latest titillation or late breaking news. But, a desire for the holy will cause us to be ever bending our ear in search and discover of God's voice in the events and interactions of our day; whether still and small in midst of storm or crying out in the barren wilderness. Jesus said, "My sheep hear my voice." (John 10:27).
Listen, today, right now. Can you hear his voice? Keep your ears attuned as you walk through this day, so that when you lay your head down tonight, you can say, "Yes, I heard God's voice today when..."
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Thursday, February 15, 2007
During these uncertain days I'm cast upon the Lord like never before. May I learn to trust Him more, the One who is completely trustworthy, the One who changes not and always keeps His word.
Here is that post. May the God of all grace use it to challenge you today!
Time and time again I go back to a book, Bright Days, Dark Nights, penned by a favorite writer of mine, Elizabeth Skoglund (see my links). She writes on subjects such as confidence, depression, anxiety, change and transition using the writings of the Prince of Preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, to illustrate her point.
The following quote by Spurgeon mirrors a statement that I used to make quite honestly and quite often. But now, I must confess, I don't know that I'm able to truthfully say it any more. The ravages of uncertainly, the stresses of being "down to the wire", the scariness of "not knowing" have played havoc with "all I once held dear".
Admitting this is difficult! What I once declared may have sounded very "noble", very "spiritual", very "right" but the years have taken their toll.
Let me give you Spurgeon's quote before I continue... "If I might have any choice between having abundant wealth, or being brought to absolute dependence upon daily supplies, if, in the latter case, I could have greater power to exhibit and to exert faith in Christ, I must confess that I should prefer the mode of living which would give me most room to enjoy the luxury of depending upon my God. I believe it is more happy and more divine a life to live from hand to mouth, dependant upon the provinces of God, and having the confidence to trust Him, than it is to have all the abundance of this world, but to have nothing about which faith may exercise itself." - Charles Haddon Spurgeon
There it is! As I said, I used to echo these thoughts although not so eloquently. Do I want to trust God implicitly? Of course! Do I believe that He can provide all I need? Absolutely! Do I want abundant wealth in a worldly way? Definitely not!
So, as I find myself in uncertain waters, I am crying out to God to be the Great Provider. He has been that in the past for me and He will never change.
Living on the edge has made me edgy and that can be a good thing.
1. I could be on the edge of another God-thing...another miracle that has no explanation other than that God did it!
2. I could be on the edge of a breakthrough where I experience deeper intimacy with God than ever before.
3. I could be on the edge of a new career path...a new vocation where God continues to be at the center.
Or, in a negative sense:
1. I could be on the edge of financial ruin.
2. I could be on the edge of unexpected grief or pain.
3. I could be on the edge of something that could shatter hope.
So, as I begin a new day with my hand held firmly by a Sovereign God I will say, "Surely God is my salvation. I will trust and not be afraid." - Isaiah 12:2
Yes, the unknown is scary! Yes, I want to truthfully say what Spurgeon said! But, for now, I will say this, "Moment by moment I'm kept in His love."
I'll choose to look at the positive "edges" and "expect great things from God."
Thanks for your prayers during my bumpy pilgrimage!
February 15th, 2007 note: I trust that you will be encouraged after reading this post in which I bared my heart and soul. Step out by faith and trust Him wholly. Because... "those who trust Him wholly, find Him wholly true" as the hymnwwriter has so ably written.
Trust Him today!
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Here's David Jeremiah's Turning Point Devotional for today:
"As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts." - Isaiah 55:9
Recommended Reading Isaiah 55:6-11
"There’s only one source for negative thinking, unhealthy emotions, anxious thoughts, impure minds, and fretful spirits—low thinking. We naturally see things from our own perspective. God looks at things differently, and His Word is the codification of His insight. As we trust His promises and see life through the lens of Scripture, we become high thinkers.
When the King James Version was released in 1611, the translators attached an "Address to the Reader," which said, in condensed form:
"Scripture is a paradise of trees of life, which brings forth fruits every month, and the leaves for medicine. It is a shower of heavenly bread and a cellar full of oil vessels whereby all our necessities may be provided. It is a pantry of wholesome food against moldy traditions, a pharmacist’s shop against poisoned heresies; a code of profitable laws against rebellious spirit; a treasure of costly jewels against beggarly rudiments, a foundation of most pure water springing up into everlasting life."
When your thoughts are negative, unhealthy, anxious, impure, or fretful, turn to God’s thoughts and let His Word dwell in you richly."
"Look up and not down; look forward and not back; look out and not in; and lend a hand." - Edward E. Hale
And a final note from Barnabas...God loves you so much that He not only gave you a Valentine Card, He gave you a whole book, His Love Story to you, the Bible. Revel in His love today. Tell others of His saving grace. Let your light shine. May you have a heart after God's own heart.
Be encouraged today, dear friends!
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Tozer's devotional this morning poses a real challenge to those of us who shy away from the ministry of the Holy Spirit because of the excesses of some "wild-eyed fanatics". Let's search the scriptures for what is "sound doctrine" and avail ourselves of all that God wants us to have...in Christ.
"Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. " -1 Thessalonians 5:19-21
"This is a crude illustration, but let me tell you what we did after planting a field of corn when I was a young fellow in Pennsylvania. To save the field of corn from the crows, we would shoot an old crow and hang him by his heels in the middle of the field. This was supposed to scare off all of the crows for miles around. The crows would hold a conference and say, "Look, there is a field of corn but don't go near it. I saw a dead crow over there!"
That's the kind of conference that Satan calls, and that is exactly what he has done. He has taken some fanatical, weird, wild-eyed Christians who do things that they shouldn't, and he has stationed them in the middle of God's cornfield, and warns, "Now, don't you go near that doctrine about the Holy Spirit because if you do, you will act just like these wild-eyed fanatics."
Taken from The Counselor, pg. 63.
"Keep us, Lord, from shying away from such valuable truth and experience as the ministry of the Holy Spirit because of the excesses of a few fanatics. We lose too much, and we can't afford the loss. Amen."
Something to think about, friends!
Monday, February 12, 2007
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
This morning I needed to be reminded of the truth of God's Word. I took the small plaque off my bookshelf and photographed it again so I could capture afresh the Psalmist's words when he wrote:
"The Lord will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; He will counsel you and watch over youl." - Psalm 32:8
What encouraging words to this weary pilgrim! What reassurance!
May you sense His loving watchcare today as you fall back into His everlasting arms.
Monday, February 05, 2007
"In his inimitable way, Yogi Berra said: "When you come to a fork in the road, take it!" The renowned poet Robert Frost was a bit more thoughtful: "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference." God says it most plainly of all: "See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil . . . therefore choose life" (Deuteronomy 30:15, 19).
Nowhere in Scripture, or in all the world’s literature, are the results of life’s choices contrasted more plainly than in the lives of Jacob and his son, Joseph. Jacob was a trickster who always had an angle. He lived most of his life for himself and raised twelve sons who followed suit—except for Joseph, who chose a different, more godly path. Somehow Joseph decided to trust God regardless of his circumstances that, from age 17 to 30, were challenging to say the least. Every day presents choices—forks in the road of life—and we must decide: the way of Jacob or the way of Joseph.
Whatever your circumstances, choose to trust God in the midst of them. "
"Every day the choice between good and evil is presented to us in simple ways." - William Sangster
Dear friend, be encouraged today knowing that our wise and loving God stands at every crossroads with us, giving divine guidance and direction concerning the choices me must make. May we experience Him in all His fullness today!